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Escape from “paradise” – We all need an angel to save us at some stage!

This post is for all the crazy travelers like me that had an angel looking after them at some stage of their journey!

“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.” – Mandy Hale

Mandy Hale will hit me with a pillow if she would listen to my story that I am going to tell you guys.

A lot of things went wrong with my first backpacking job in Australia.

  1. For the first days my boss left me by myself in a room of the homestead stay, and I was not able to contact him to find out what the hell was going on!!
  2. No phone signal to contact my parents
  3. I had no clear idea about about my job!
  4. I was an underpaid waitress/housekeeper
  5. My boss was really rude and racist against us backpackers!
  6. No focus towards safety whatsoever  …
    I could continue with this list but I think this might be another story.

Cake Party at work

(Photo- my work colleagues and I – we had found some left over cake in a room that we serviced that day and it felt like Christmas for us! If you have not much, you would appreciate those little things in life a lot!)


Escape from “Paradise”
I escaped out of this place (literally!!). I had to make my way to Katherine (Northern Territory).I just wanted to catch the next bus to my new destination, Broome (Western Australia). I was ready to go! I made a promised to myself that no boss will ever treat me like this again!

A long way to go ...

On the road…

I am walking along the country road with my heavy backpack; around me – nothing. In the middle of nowhere, I am surrounded by red dust on a small road. My plan was to hitchhike form Mataranka to Katherine so  later on I can catch the Greyhound bus that drives to Broome.
Only after a couple of minuets, a car stopped next to me and I looked into two familiar faces. My guests from the last night (that I served as a waitress at the homestead I was working for)Outback Waitress Outfit

I felt so lucky! I was offered a lift to Katherine. (Payback of good costumer service I suppose!).
I jumped in. The one guy is a comedian from Melbourne, so you can imagine that this drive was
entertaining! I don’t know much about the other 2 guys. We did not exchange any contacts but they helped me out with a lift to the next town.

(Photo- me in my Mataranka waitress outfit!)


If you ever see a backpacker on the street trying to hitchhike do not assume it is just to save money … some of us could be just in a pretty bad situation as well. Help each other out – this is what I learned out of this story (but wait, this is not the end yet!).


Welcome to Katherine!


When I arrived in Katherine, it was close to shop shut. I hurried to the next travel agency to book my bus ticket. The lady with short brown hair and glasses felt so sorry for me when she told me that the next bus was not going to leave until the next morning. I had no other options – I booked my bus ticket for the next morning.

I officially had to stay over the night in this town but this is not the cherry on the cupcake yet! – I could not manage to find a room to stay over the night!





The drunken man I was running away from!

Not having a place to stay, I was wandering around on the street; a lot of drunken locals where hanging around there. It was not a safe place at all and I was scared. When I went to the supermarket to get some water, a drunken guy stopped me and said he wanted me to go and get him some beer,.. “If you don’t, I’ll find ya!” he said.
Oh my god! … in this moment I thought I am such an idiot. I didn’t even know the number to call the police in case of emergency. (Don’t worry – I learned my lesson!)
I told him I will. When I went in the supermarket – I took the second exit at the back and got the hell out of there.



Tina’s Masterplan
No where seemed to be a safe place for me. I spotted a 24/7 McDonald’s – you can say what you want but my plan was made.

  • My Master plan:
    I will stay at McDonald’s for a bit – get something to eat – keep staying – get something tiny again – and stay awake the night till my bus will come in the morning. Yes … if you are in a situation like this you will end up with a master plan like this.

Before I was going to have my “stay over” in McDonald’s – I walked down the street and sat down near the post office to call my mother. I mean who knows it could be the last time that I might have been able to.
(Yes this was seriously what went through my mind at this stage)

When I was calling my mum back home to tell her what was going on, (almost in tears) a car that drove by suddenly stopped next to me. My heart skipped a beat and I was prepared for the worst case scenario.
Is this my boss that want to teach me a lesson or the creepy drunken guy from the supermarket that  was going to pay me back now? I was getting myself ready for everything but the unexpected happened.

A lovely lady came out of the car and was asking me what I am doing out here all by myself. I told her my story and that I could not find a place to stay over the night. The lady – Dianne, thought my plan was terrible and offered me straight away to stay with her at her house.

I did not know what to say at first. After all the bad things that happened it seemed so surreal. She said she will pick me up once she went to her family dinner. I agreed and later on she came like promised to pick me up. I could not believe it!

I hadn’t felt so cared for for a long time. I didn’t have anything to offer in return. She didn’t ask me for anything either. When I think back today, Dianne saved my life with her random act of kindness because who knows what could have happen in that night.

She cared like a mother for me at her house without knowing much about me.
I got my room with a fluffy blankets that felt like heaven for me after my horror stay in Mataranka, a hot shower, a cup of tea and a long night of talking about life and watching a black and white movies. I got to rest after this and found finally some time to  digest everything that had happened to me during the past weeks.

A new morning full of opportunities
The next morning everything looked so different. All the bad things were gone and everything seemed possible again. Dianne made some breakfast for us before she dropped me of at the greyhound bus station.

Dianne & Me
My role model

Today, Dianne has become for me a role model. She saw something she thought isn’t right and took action without hesitation. She told me later on that also her family told her during the dinner, just before she was going to pick me up, that it is a crazy idea. To pick up a stranger from a street and take them in your home.

But she took step for the thing she thought was the right to do and I will own her a favour for life time. I cannot thank her enough for this and hope that we are going to see us soon again!

And for all the crazy girls out there I hope you will all meet a special person that is going to help you out when you need it the most.


Please feel free to share with us your stories in the comment section below about how someone helped you out in a bad situation while you were traveling.

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” – by Martin Luther King.

Nevertheless … be brave, get out there and be as free as lost … (In a safe way 🙂 )

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  • Reply Dianne

    Hello Tina, great story I am so glad everything has worked out for you, stay safe and please stay in touch.

    April 24, 2016 at 6:32 am
  • Reply john and Laurel Rodgers

    That is a real hard trip to make. I am glad that you were able to not only come out of it okay but, to actually come out of it with a positive person at the end. If more people would help the people that need a little the world would be a safer and more hospitable place. Glad this worked out so well in the end.

    April 26, 2016 at 9:26 am
    • Reply Tina

      Thanks John and Laurel! Also if it was a bad experience in the beginning it was something I did learn from and you just grow with those things. Luckily I met someone who helped me out! 🙂 I think the important thing is to keep looking for the good things in life also if bad things happen in the past 🙂 Imagine if I wouldn’t like to travel after this! … No way … I love it way too much! 🙂

      May 4, 2016 at 4:08 am
  • Reply iamsuanlee

    Wow, I am really glad that your story and these series of events ended in something positive. It was so fortunate that Dianne was there and willing to help! I know that many people in similar situations often shy away from that. Kindness is a wonderful gift!

    April 26, 2016 at 9:41 am
    • Reply Tina

      Hey Suanlee! That is so true … a lot of people might think there is something not right but only a handful will take action to change something about it.

      May 4, 2016 at 4:10 am
  • Reply Evanne

    I’m so glad this ended the way it did! I don’t think I’ve ever been in a similar situation, but I have almost had a “stay over” in a 24/7 McDonalds as well, except my experience was in Europe and I was with a few other girls! I can’t imagine not having a place to stay all by yourself, especially in an unsafe place! Phew!

    April 26, 2016 at 1:40 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Hey Evanne! haha … at least I am not alone with ideas like this … but I think only if you are in a situation like this yourself you will understand that sometimes you come up with crazy ideas just to safe yourself! Kind of interesting what we come up with, isn’t it?

      May 4, 2016 at 4:12 am
  • Reply Sheri

    Gosh, just a continuous series of unfortunate events, and then there came Diane. I am so glad that it all worked out in your favour.

    April 26, 2016 at 3:44 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Thanks Sheri 🙂

      May 4, 2016 at 5:13 am
  • Reply Liana

    That’s such an amazing story! I’m planning a trip to Australia, and I can’t wait to find more about those people! Thanks for sharing! x

    April 26, 2016 at 4:08 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Hey Liana, you are more than welcome! If you have any questions about working holiday visa or Australia just contact me via and I am more than happy to answer your questions for you 😉 I am already here for more than 2 years and I love it!

      May 4, 2016 at 5:21 am
  • Reply Jen Morrow

    Scary scenarios, I am glad that you are okay. The only time I ever hitchhiked was when I literally had no other options (and before anyone “normal” had cell phones). I love of everything, you learned to pay it forward to other people that may be in distress.

    April 26, 2016 at 5:04 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Thank you Jen, yes I got in contact with other backpackers that also went trough a lot of bad situations as well. Most of the time it was work related (to obtain your second year visa you have to do 88 days of farm work) – some people in Australia take advantage of this and the working conditions aren’t that good. But what ever happened there is always something good coming up 🙂

      May 4, 2016 at 5:28 am
  • Reply Alina Popescu

    Oh, wow, that is quite an adventure and not in a fun way. Kind people are a blessing in situations like this and I am so glad you ran into someone who not only helped, but also became a role model for you.

    April 27, 2016 at 7:20 am
    • Reply Tina

      Thank you Alina, yes I was very lucky that it turned out with a happy ending 🙂

      May 4, 2016 at 5:26 am
  • Reply Bernard Tan

    I can totally relate to the no phone signal to contact anyone. When I did my first solo backpacking trip in Cambodia, I broke my phone on the 2nd day and I was totally not contactable by phone, and had to use my tablet to sent my mum a message.

    April 27, 2016 at 2:15 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Hey Bernard! Oh god oh gosh! Yes … always keep mum up to date!… if I wouldn’t she would probably send the police after me to find me somewhere in the Australian outback xD … I think everyone knows this rule. Regular contact to parents is a must do – otherwise they worry too much 🙂

      May 4, 2016 at 5:25 am
  • Reply Rachel

    I’m so glad your story has a happy ending! It must have been so scary for you to be in that situation, not able to contact anyone, but it’s great you met Dianne and made a lifelong friend of her!

    April 28, 2016 at 8:44 am
    • Reply Tina

      Hey Rachel, yes … I think a lot of backpacker have experienced at some stage during there trip in Australia to be unable to contact someone. It’s pretty scary especially if you are in a situation like this.

      May 4, 2016 at 5:15 am
  • Reply Cai Dominguez-Travelosyo

    Love the story Tina and admire your courage. Sometimes, we need to leave all the things and people that doesn’t allow us to grow and be ourselves. Being a solo backpacker. I encountered a lot of kindness on the road that restored my faith in humanity. Keep going and always take care 🙂

    April 28, 2016 at 2:43 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Hey Cai! Thats so true … I have met such kind people during my trip that helped me without asking for anything in exchange … I think we all should try our best to become this type of person. If you see something you should go and help 🙂

      May 4, 2016 at 5:19 am
  • Reply Lorellay

    Such an inspiration you are! I can’t believe what you went through, this must have been preety shocking at first, but I’m glad you meet Dianne and all kind of sorted out… Safe trips! 🙂

    April 28, 2016 at 5:38 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Thanks Lorellay 🙂

      May 4, 2016 at 5:16 am
  • Reply Kaja

    what a great story! actual it could be a material for a book of something hahaha!
    im so happy it ended happily and that you’ve such a lovely human being as Dianne!

    April 29, 2016 at 10:49 am
    • Reply Tina

      Hey Kaja, thats true … I can easily fill a book with crazy stories – but now the questions is this a good or a bad thing 😀 haha. Thanks for your lovely comment!

      May 4, 2016 at 1:08 am
  • Reply Tae

    This is so sweet. It makes me so happy that people like Diane are out in the world looking out for others 🙂 I love Western Australia, but agree that some towns and situations like that can be seedy 🙁 your boss sounds horrible!

    April 29, 2016 at 11:22 am
    • Reply Tina

      Yes, he wasn’t a nice guy at all but that is part of traveling as well – such situations will make you stronger 🙂
      But overall most of the people I met during my solo travel time are big hearted people 🙂

      May 4, 2016 at 1:05 am
  • Reply Sarah @ Expat of the World

    You must have been so downtrodden before your saving grace appeared! I had some trouble in Agrigento, Sicily, when I realised that traveling around Sicily on a Sunday wasn’t the best idea. I was horrifically lost. I tried speaking to a taxi driver but we just couldn’t understand each other. He called someone and a few minutes later an elderly man swerved around the corner– he was in his 60s but spoke English really well! He said sometimes the locals call him when a tourist is in trouble haha. He kindly took me in his car, helped me get a SIM card and then took me to the Temples! He said whenever you’re done, give me a ring and I’ll pick you up again and take you to the bus stop to get you back to Palermo.

    There are great people around!

    April 29, 2016 at 12:29 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!
      Such a great guy that you met! … I know exactly how you felt! To try to get to a point – but no one can understand you because of the language barrier. It’s so scary. But you had an Angel as well! Glad that everything worked out so well for you at the end 🙂

      May 4, 2016 at 12:55 am
  • Reply Ann

    Wow this is such an amazing story and such an inspiration. Really goes to show that even in the worst of times it’s possible to get through it and to make it work. It’s also nice to hear that there are still good people out there! Especially when traveling solo, at times, you just need to rely on the kindness of others. Safe travels girl!

    April 30, 2016 at 1:36 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Hey Ann
      Thanks for your lovely feedback! I am happy that you enjoyed the story. I met such great people while traveling by myself in Australia – can only recommend it to take the first scary step forward 🙂

      May 4, 2016 at 12:46 am
  • Reply

    Amazing story! You are so much more braver than I am. Then again now I am a mother of three crazy children. Maybe once they are out of the house I will do some couples or even solo travel. Glad your travels improved! I wouldn’t stand for a rude boss.

    April 30, 2016 at 1:48 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Thank you 🙂 I am pretty sure you will love solo travelling! You will get to know yourself in a new way.Definately go for it!
      Yes that is true! I wouldn’t tolerate a boss like this at all normal and quit straight away – but I was in the situation that I had to stick with it – just to earn enough money to get the hell out of there :D! I stayed there only for a few weeks.

      May 4, 2016 at 12:44 am
  • Reply Matthias

    Hey Hey, I was backpacking in Australia as well. Love this country. Yeah, some probs with jobs or boasses can happen. Wish you guys all the best for your time 🙂

    April 30, 2016 at 7:33 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Hey Matthias! That’s great! Hope you enjoyed your trip – sure you did :).
      When you are here as a backpacker there is always a possibility that some people take advantage.

      May 3, 2016 at 12:18 pm
  • Reply sveeteskapes

    Oh my gosh, so sorry to hear what you had to deal with and how much of a traumatic experience that must have been for you. But so glad to hear that there are still good people in the world that help a stranger, kudos to Dianne!
    xx, Kusum |

    May 1, 2016 at 3:37 am
    • Reply Tina

      Hey Kusum! Yes it was a pretty taff experience but good in the end. I am so happy that I met Dianne! It showed me not to judge if you see someone that needs help – but to take action!

      May 3, 2016 at 12:15 pm
  • Reply Ashwini

    Whoa! Tats some story there! I bet there couldn’t be a better name than angel to describe ‘Dianne’! Happy that you came out clean!

    May 1, 2016 at 2:17 pm
    • Reply Tina

      Thank you! Yes I think as well it’s a perfect name for her 🙂

      May 3, 2016 at 9:47 am
  • Reply Krystin

    I love that you shared what went wrong on your first backpacking trip, thanks for sharing your insight!

    May 2, 2016 at 1:34 am
    • Reply Tina

      Anytime! – I think we all can learn so much while sharing our experience with each other.

      May 3, 2016 at 12:13 pm

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